Mexico's president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador ordered state-owned oil company, Pemex, to build an $8 billion oil refinery. So, the company has followed orders and razed protected mangrove trees to clear way for the controversial project, according to Quartz. Satellite images posted on Quartz show the cleared land to accommodate the construction.
Pemex's Dos Bocas refinery site. Planet Labs / Quartz<p>Lopez Obrador approved the project in Tabasco, his home state, to revive the state-owned oil giant, which has suffered from dysfunction recently. Shortly after the president approved the project, a third party uprooted large swatches of mangroves, even though they are protected and vital to Mexico's economy, according to Quartz. </p> <p>The complex ecosystems the trees create provide almost 6 percent of Mexico's GDP, according to the University of California, San Diego, as Quartz reported. While the mangroves are supposed to be protected, the satellite imagery shows that they continue to be felled to make way for roads. Pemex, or a third-party, defied a <a href="https://www.gob.mx/asea/prensa/asea-expide-autorizacion-condicionada-del-proyecto-de-construccion-de-la-refineria-dos-bocas-tabasco" target="_blank">government order</a> by cutting down the mangroves and is now asking for permission to raze more so it can build a bridge. </p> <p>The actions have environmental advocates worried about Mexico's commitment to a sustainable future, especially since the government canceled a $700,000 fine for a company accused of destroying thousands of acres of mangroves. </p> <p>"The administration promotes an oil refinery, and to build it destroys threatened mangroves even though Mexico is part of the Paris accords," Alejandra Rabasa, an environmental lawyer in Mexico City, <a href="https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/scenes-crime-mexico-monarch-butterfly-defenders-murder" target="_blank">said to Sierra Club</a>.</p>